Friday, July 27, 2012

seed for sowing and bread for eating

The funeral is at the cultural center, a big octagonal shaped building with a large front hall and a kitchen off the back.

The horses led the pickup that carried the drum and singers who led the hearse --and they all piled suddenly in to the parking lot along the highway. Children climbed out the car windows before the cars were parked to be alongside me as we waited for the hearse to wend its way to the entrance. I prayed for those who gathered and the work we had to do in the coming days... I prayed for the children whose lives are forever changed... and we were led by the singers, carrying the drum, into the building.

We processed around the building and finally through the center of it where all the sides meet. I was right behind the drum, and the way the drum and song reverberated off the walls and ceiling and floor almost made my knees give way.....

I still didn't know what we were going to do in the next few hours --if I knew the Mormon President were going to be there, it would be one thing --if not, then another.... When we got all settled, the coffin in its place, the flowers and cakes displayed, I noted the Mormons sitting in a clutch all together --not hard, they're the only other white folk in the room --and they've all got name tags on.

So, when all the People gathered had come to sign the book and greet the family, and settled into a wake routine of children running and laughing, old men rearranging their butts on the hard folding chairs, and the women streaming in and out of the kitchen, I went to speak to the Mormons. And they said their President would be present today --Friday, to conduct the funeral.

Finally. I could make a plan. A plan that I would hold lightly as all else unfolded.

And I remember that we heard lessons about the feast (Isaiah), that we are all children of God (1 John), and that it was the dream/hope/will of the Father that nothing/no one should be lost, but that all shall be raised on the last day....

But mostly I remember hearing the invitation to the Eucharist as though I were sitting in the back of the room... I didn't know what I was saying until I had said it, my secret thoughts exposed.... And I was explaining the bread and wine, a humble sign of that feast to which we are all invited --and I remember hearing myself say that when Jesus held up the bread and said 'this is my body' that we could imagine him saying --the wheat, the ground, the sun, the rain, the air, the insects, birds, the humans who harvested --everything that it took to make the bread --all, ALL were his body --the whole thing.... and that the wine --the vine, the fruit, the earth, the sun, the rain --all of it his life blood --signs of the whole thing --the WHOLE thing....

--and it's not as though I hadn't thought about that before --but it was again as though the drum were playing and the thunder of it made me weak in the knees... again.

My funny little pseudo-cosmic thoughts affirmed --that's what it felt like --like the voice of God.... my own personal devotions and reflections regarding the Eucharist said aloud in public... my self revealed and vulnerable....

Terrified was I. Waiting for the lightening strike. Heretic that I am... usually.

So, in talking with Joel about it this morning, I said what I had felt... and he said, yes, of course, He said that is my body... and let me go....

--and visions of Mary in the garden, clutching him...

So I asked Joel who else professed that earth-air-sun-wind-creation based idea of the bread and wine --and he pulls out the book he's reading --Cosmic Liturgy, The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor (Balthasar is the author), and he says, Oh... a few --the real problem is language.... Like God does not love us --God IS love, God IS life.... and on and on and on....

Well, that about finishes up a good cuppa....

At prayer this morning (Second Isaiah, Chapter 55 a couple of verses after #6 --whatever)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, *
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, *
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth, *
seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *
it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, *
and prosper in that for which I sent it.

--and the rain and snow water the earth... bringing forth life... and God IS life.

--wups, there we are....

Off to plant Little Red Fox in mother earth --where the rain and snow will water the earth in which he rests --and life will be brought forth --seed for sowing, and bread for eating --bread which is the Body of his Son....

The beloved.

Amen.

(Image here.)

1 comment:

Joel said...

Reminds me of the epitaph I wanted on the back, secretly, of my family's tombstone: "here lie the seeds of eternal life, awaiting the day of harvest."